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Leadbelly, Negro Blues Singer, Renders Ballads for Spanish Relief and Network

Former Convict Gives Up Stabbing To Play Guitar on Radio


Heudi Ledbetter, ace negro blues singerr, known to many as "Leadbelly," the only twelve-string guitar player in America and one-time convict, stole the show when he sang last night at a benefit performance for Spanish relief in the Cantabrigia Club. A packed room clamoured incessantly for more of his husky voiced "hot ones."

Interviewed earlier in the evening when he sang over the Crimson network, Leadbelly revealed that he made up his songs as he went along, and that he sang mostly his own songs. Leadbelly came into the network building, unstoppered his bottle of sherry, "wet his pipes," and went on the air for fifteen minutes of his own.

Among his most recent successes are a song about the draft which has been recorded by Victor, and a song predicting that Roosevelt would win the election, which has been recorded for the President.

Even as a little boy, Leadbelly recalls that he had music in him, but it was not until he found himself in prison that he really developed his talent. While in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, he wrote a song the governor liked so well that he received a pardon.

Launched by this stroke of fortune on his career, Leadbelly now lives in New York and has a weekly radio program. He has given up Southern Negroes, because they get him "into too much trouble," and he no longer carries a knife. The last time he carried a knife, he spent seven months and 26 days on Welfare Island.

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